Republican presidential frontruner Donald Trump has spent very little money on his campaign because cable news and broadcast networks have devoted enormous amounts of time to covering his campaign for free, from talking about his candidacy to carrying live feeds of almost every rally.
We already know networks do this because it doesn't cost anything and it's good for ratings, but CBS CEO Les Moonves spoke at an investor's conference yesterday where he made it clear that the consequences are an afterthought.
The latest chairman of the company said, “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS,” and called Donald Trump‘s presence in the race a “good thing.”
The “good thing,” he pointed out, was not necessarily Trump’s campaign stance, but the ad revenue that was driven up by the increased viewership drawn in by the back-and-forth between Trump and other candidates. He has said similar things about Trump and the election season in the past.
If you've ever wondered why the majority of our media is unwilling to call a spade a spade, this is why. And this goes beyond Donald Trump. All manner of vile talking points and dogwhistles are covered with kid-gloves because anything else may be bad for business.
If Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee for president, we'll see just how far our media is willing to go to observe the election with a view from nowhere.